The Shorty Awards – In 140 Characters or More


Award ceremonies. I find them mostly reprehensible.  The idea that some select group of assholes can determine what the “best” art is, is silly. And arbitrary. The Golden Globes are determined by the “Hollywood Foreign Press,” which sounds like a League of Nations for non-Americans who care too much about Hollywood. But in actuality, it’s just a group of 90 SoCal-residing “journalists,” many of who don’t even write full-time and don’t write for any of the major international publications you’ve heard of. The Grammys. How does it just so happen that the winning best artists and records are always either the most wildly popular (Taylor Swift’s Fearless) or the one that absolutely no one has heard of or cares about (Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters)? Oh, and they gave one to Hootie and the Blowfish. The Oscars? All movie studio strategy and politicking. The ‘best’ movies and actors are usually recognized long after they’ve been snubbed for an Oscar.

Social media in a nutshell

The Shorty Awards, anyone? They’re posited as the Oscars or the Grammys of the social media world, but that’s only in terms of prestige. After all, the Shortys will last no longer than 90 minutes, and thank-you speeches must not exceed 140-characters, a tribute to the their recognition of “people and organizations producing real-time short form content across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare and rest of the social Web.” This is their fourth year giving out the awards and the winners will be revealed tonight, March 26th, in a live streamed ceremony. Winners will be presented with rectangular crystal stands with an etching of a whale tail, because we all know the first thing we think of when we think of social media is a whale’s tail.


The featured categories’ nominees and finalists were all determined through tweets and this year’s awards managed to garner over 1.6 million of them. Further, each category will have a “Shorty Vox Populi” winner, which is the “people’s choice” award, whereas the actual Shorty Award will be determined by the “Real-Time Academy,” which includes such social media luminaries as MC Hammer, Whitney Port and Nick Cannon. Right up there with the Hollywood Foreign Press, I see. So what are some of the featured categories and who are the top five vote-getting finalists in each? Here’s a sampling:

  • Apps: Missing e, Jasmine V App, ManageFlitter, Instagram and Twitter
  • Celebrity: Kim Jae Joong, Justin Bieber, Miley Ray Cyrus, Jedward, Selena Gomez
  • YouTube Star: Paolo Feliciano, JAMICH, Peyton Sanders, Julie Anne San Jose, Justin Bieber
  • Athlete: John Cena, Troy Polamalu, Luis Suarez, Kelly Kelly, CM Punk
  • Comedian: Alex Constancio, Smosh, Jim Norton, Matt Walker, Perver Beliebers, Christian Beadles
  • Fashion: Agnes Monica, Sarah Wright, Ann Li, StephenKGlickman, Melissa Stetten
  • Humor:  Louis Tomlinson, Christian Beadles, Kingsley, Ryan Higa, Marian Rivera
  • Music: Demi Lovato, Miley Ray Cyrus, HENDRA, Justin Bieber, Agnes Monica
  • U.S. Congress Member: Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, Darrell Issa, ronpaul, Allen West
  • Videoblogger: PrankvsPrank, DJ Tay James, Marie Forieo, Fafa the Groundhog, Mario
Yeah, I have no clue who most of those people are either. And I can’t think of many more self-congratulatory events as horrifying as one where people are effusively praising each other and Justin Bieber on their groundbreaking portfolio of  incredible tweets. Having said all that, the Shorty Awards should nominate me for “best tweeter with no following” – that’s an award I would agree with.

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